Il Tarocco Napoleonica (The Napolean Tarot) by Osvaldo Menegazzi

July 14, 2021 | Filed Under Reviews, Tarot, Runes, Oracles | No Comments

One of the decks I picked up on my 2019 visit to the Milan studio of Osvaldo Menegazzi, known as Il Meneghello, was the Tarocco Napoleanico, the Tarot of Napoleon. I pulled it out the other night, and realized I had not written about it yet! Today is Bastille Day in France, so this seemed a propitious time to share it.

It is a standard 78-card progression, with 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana cards.

As Napoleon spent much of his life in the miitary, and is equally famous for being a general as for being an emperor, the deck has a military theme. In addition to the traditional card names (Le Bateleur, La Papesse, L’Etoile, etc.) the cards are labeled with either the name of an historical person, or a general term, such as “Infanterie” (“Infantry”), “Officier” (“Officer”), etc. The pip cards are military medals, one per suit, and labeled with the military order they represent.

Of course, Napoleon and Josephine are the Emperor and Empress cards—the deck is named for him, after all!

The Empress and Emperor cards from the Napoleon Tarot, featuring drawings of Josephine and Napoleon.

[Image description: The Empress and Emperor cards from the Napoleon Tarot, featuring drawings of Josephine and Napoleon.]

The Major cards are wonderfully creative. The Lovers card shows an officer of the Second Hussars and his lady, which brings to mind the folk song, “The Gallant Hussar“.

The Hanged Man card shows an Infantry soldier, which is particularly apt—the enlisted, lowest-level soldier can only do as he is ordered, and has no control over his time, or his life.

The Devil card is a Mameluk warrior; the Mameluks were part of the force which defeated Napoleon’s army in Egypt.

Card 16 bears the traditional name of “La Maison Dieu”, rather than the Tower. The destruction of the holy temple on the card mirrors the destruction of the human body, which is also a Temple of God, in war, as shown by the corpse at the foot of the tower.

L’Etoile, the Star card, shows two soldiers marching in the dark night. The message reads to me as their hopes for the war ending, so they can return home.

Card 20 is “L’Ange”, the “Angel”, rather than Judgment. The picture shows Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier aloft in the hot-air balloon they pioneered, which is delightfully clever!

The Lovers, Hanged Man, Devil, Tower, Star, and Angel card from the Napoleon Tarot.

[Image description: The Lovers, Hanged Man, Devil, Tower, Star, and Angel card from the Napoleon Tarot.]

The World card is labeled “Victory”, and features Napoleon’s hand holding a winged Victory figure on an orb, holding out a laurel crown towards Napoleon. An interesting side note—Appsley House in London, England (the home of the Duke of Wellington, who led the army which defeated Napoleon for the last time) is filled with goods taken from France after the war. One of the items is a large statue of Napoleon holding a similar orb in his hand, but the figure in the statue is flying away from Napoleon. Napoleon did not like the statue, as he felt it was a bad omen—and, well, he was correct.

The World card from the Napoleon Tarot.

[Image description: The World card from the Napoleon Tarot.]

The court cards feature various royals of the time—King Charles IV of Spain; Napoleon’s stepdaughter/sister-in-law Hortense de Beauharnais, who became Queen Consort of Holland (her sons included Napoleon III); and Emperor Francis I, among others. All have a connection to Napoleon, of course.

If you are familiar with this period of history, this deck is a fascinating representation of the people and events of the time. If you are not familiar with this era, becoming acquainted with this deck will give you a far-ranging knowledge of it.

 

Maintenance Schedules Also Apply to Humans

July 1, 2021 | Filed Under Things I Think About | No Comments

A friend who works in IT support sent me this photo:

A photo of a sign reading, "Warning: If you don't schedule time for maintenance, your equipment will schedule it for you."

[Image description: A photo of a sign reading, “Warning: If you don’t schedule time for maintenance, your equipment will schedule it for you.”]

This is true of any kind of equipment—a car, a bulldozer, an Airbus A380, your coffee maker. Also, your body and your psyche.

We’re constantly encouraged to engage in self-care, which is good. I am 100% in favor of self-care. The things you do for yourself to keep yourself healthy and happy are important. Many people have trouble with finding healthy forms of self-care, and it can take a lot of work to sort them out. (I am one of those people.)

Part of self-care is basic maintenance, which many of us also struggle with in ways that we don’t with other forms of self-care. I am good about giving myself nice things (ask me about my stationery collection!), and not so good about taking care of my body.

Part of it is that it’s just So.Much.Work. What do you mean we need to eat? We ate earlier today. (Eight hours ago).

What do you mean we have to drink more water? We had water earlier. (Two hours ago.)

What do you mean we need to sleep? We slept yesterday. (Poorly, and for only six hours.)

We have to go to the dentist? We did that last year. And we had a physical last year, too. We have to do it again this year?

I really want to have a long talk with whoever thought that entrusting me with the responsibility to care for this mortal coil was a good idea.

And yet, I know that when I don’t take care of my body, nothing else is going to work well. Further, if I really lose track of this maintenance, I become quite ill and non-functional until I have given my body what it needs (usually rest, and some proper food) and it feels ready to function again.

While I’ve never worked myself into a coma (a colleague of a colleague did, which was a jarring experience for all of us, including the person who lapsed into the coma), I have worked myself to the point of exhaustion a number of times in my adult life. This manifests as an intense flu that prevents me from getting out of bed until my body is ready to. It doesn’t matter how much my brain tries to convince my body that we really do have to get up and do things, my body is not going to do it, and so all I can do is sleep until I am able to get out of bed without falling over. This takes somewhere between four and seven days. I don’t have four to seven days to lose to being ill, so I try to take care of my body, with varying degrees of success. I have learned some things, though—it has been over ten years since I’ve had to take to my bed and stay there involuntarily for more than a day due to poor maintenance. Still not perfect, but I am learning.

(We are not going to mention that three years ago, when I went to the dentist, I was 14 years overdue for my six month check-up.)

I try to view this maintenance with the same sense of responsibility I have towards my car. It needs gas; I need food and water. It needs to run regularly so the engine doesn’t get funky; I need to exercise, or at least get up from my desk and walk around regularly, so I do not become chair-shaped. It needs its oil changed and brakes checked and hoses replaced; I need to have my annual physical and blood work, and see the dentist regularly.

I find this easy to do for my car, but am still practicing doing it for myself. Even though the reminders to make the various appointments are on my calendar the right times, it’s too easy to say, “I’m too busy, I’ll deal with it next week”—and then suddenly, I haven’t seen the dentist for 14 years.

The day-to-day piece is still the most challenging. I don’t want to take the time to eat, to move, to sleep; I feel too much pressure to Do All The Things for my day job, my household maintenance, my community, my friends, and my own pursuits.

I know the consequences if I don’t eat properly, move a reasonable amount, and sleep enough. Most days, that knowledge propels me in the general direction of right action, but there are still days where I feel overwhelmed by it all. It’s too hard to figure out what to eat: this has too many calories, that has too many carbs, the other thing has too many food miles, I should eat more vegetables—there are endless reasons I can come up with not to eat, and unless my blood sugar starts falling, I can keep rationalizing myself out of eating to a rather dangerous point. Not only is this bad for my blood sugar, it adds to the problems I have managing my weight, so I’ve then given myself One More Thing To Deal With, which is the exact opposite of what I was trying to do.

Sometimes I can catch myself, and get back on track, and manage to approximate a reasonable level of maintenance—eat somewhat sensibly, move around, and go to bed when I first notice I’m tired, instead of pushing myself to keep going.

Other days, well, it’s after midnight, and I’m eating Nutella out of a jar with a knife while sorting laundry and doing triage on my to-do list.

So, the next day, I refocus, and make one small change to turn myself back towards a healthier way of being.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again.

Weekly Insight from the Oracles for June 28, 2021

June 27, 2021 | Filed Under Tarot, Runes, Oracles, Weekly Insight | No Comments

The Weekly Insight from the Oracles for June 28, 2021 is live on my Patreon!

Many thanks to my delightful Patrons!

Not a Patron yet? Click through to discover the amazing perks which can be yours!

A teaser screenshot of this week’s Insight from the Oracles, with just a hint of the cards and runes showing.

[Image description: A teaser screenshot of this week’s Insight from the Oracles, with just a hint of the cards and runes showing.]

Weekly Insight from the Oracles for June 21, 2021

June 20, 2021 | Filed Under Tarot, Runes, Oracles, Weekly Insight | No Comments

The Weekly Insight from the Oracles for June 21, 2021 is live on my Patreon!

Many thanks to my delightful Patrons!

Not a Patron yet? Click through to discover the amazing perks which can be yours!

A teaser screenshot of this week’s Insight from the Oracles, with just a hint of the cards and runes showing.

[Image description: A teaser screenshot of this week’s Insight from the Oracles, with just a hint of the cards and runes showing.]

Weekly Insight from the Oracles for June 14, 2021

June 13, 2021 | Filed Under Tarot, Runes, Oracles, Weekly Insight | No Comments

The Weekly Insight from the Oracles for June 14, 2021 is live on my Patreon!

Many thanks to my delightful Patrons!

Not a Patron yet? Click through to discover the amazing perks which can be yours!

A teaser screenshot of this week’s Insight from the Oracles, with just a hint of the cards and runes showing.

[Image description: A teaser screenshot of this week’s Insight from the Oracles, with just a hint of the cards and runes showing.]

Recent Posts:


Categories:


Archives:


Follow AnastasiaH_SF on Twitter
My Pinterest
Follow Me on Instagram
Subscribe to RSS